on the run.
That part of the story that goes with it has to do with Indians only because my mother assumed the nickname "Che-ah" (meaning "bitch" among unforked tongue speakers) and was proud of an alleged, but ill-defined, Native American ancestry; or, maybe it's because my nickname during my college days in Oklahoma was "Choctaw" and I hung the nickname "Cochise" on the first born of my progeny. Or, it could be just because I am a natural born aboriginephile. Whatever.
"Aboriginephile," he said: (15 Dec 1999) I know there ain't no such word as "aboriginephile", but if making words up is good enough for the guy who wrote Alice in Wonderland, it's good enough for me. Take that, you Jabberwocky.
Look-see advice: (17 Dec 1999) I'll nearly forgot to tell you that, if you click on the Indian Logo and visit the AIHF web site, be sure to check out its index to Indigenous Peoples' Literature (linked to under "Resources"). After you've spent a year or two there, you are gently prodded to hurry back here.
That was a very good year: (21 Feb 2000) 1929 was a year of at least three significant events - 1) Wyatt Earp died, 2) the stock market crashed leading to the Great Depression, and 3) I was born on August 13. The only one of those events which was a happy occasion was number three - which occurred in Wichita Falls, Texas, and, I'm happy to report, in a house, not in a disease-trap of a hospital. After that, and before school, my Mother, Dad, and I lived in Fort Worth and Electra, Texas; and, I had long sojourns with both my grandmothers in Ada and Roosevelt, Oklahoma, and with some of my numerous aunts and uncles here and there. By now, it should be of no surprise to you that I was an only child - and, yes, spoiled in the middle of a depression. Pictures to come: (22 Feb 2000) Here, from time to time, I will begin inserting, more or less in chronological order, small versions of photos of me, my parents, and other family members that you may click to see larger versions - along with descriptive purple prose and, maybe, some chinchy comments. You'll also hear, on each page a real Golden Oldie Ditty. Hover your pointer over any of the photos to find out what it's about.
Schooldays, schooldays, good old ... : (22 Dec 1999) Some ("some" because my OLDheimer affliction has dulled the memory of frequent moves occasioned because Daddy, bless his mobile heart, was always looking for greener pastures) of the grade and junior high schools I attended were in: Electra, Texas; Ada, Oklahoma; Pampa, Texas; Lawton, Oklahoma; Salem, Illinois; Vernon, Texas; Duncan, Oklahoma; Coalinga, California; and, Houston, Texas (Edison Jr. High). My high school (fall 1943-spring 1946) was Stephen F. Austin, Houston, Texas. For the first time, I was in the same school for a whole year, and I enjoyed my days on Dumble Street very much. Why not? I was a semi-star in the classroom and in the band conducted by "Spamp" (Maestro Michael Spampinato).
Captain of the Band: (21 Jan 2000) Yep, believe it or not - and by playing (with a tin ear, but a good embouchure) the baritone horn, which I did with a fervor (fever?) from 1942, when Edison Junior High needed a bad trumpet player to adopt a left over and school owned instrument, until 1982, when I lost my embouchure (after my teeth) on a tropical island of 1200 people (you'll get to that story in the Bestbird pages) three of whom, believe it or not again, were old baritone horn players.
Showing the real Captain and his bands: (14 Jan 2004) Well, here it is four years later that I have returned to make a page fit for a band captain. The new page is complete with photos of two bands, lots of band instruments, and one band captain. There is even a selection of great music for you to play while you visit the Captain of the Band page.
California, a new game in 1938: (08 Jan 2004) I'm back. I'll try to return again to tell you about 1938-1939 (before the big shake) Coalinga. Meanwhile, you can read how we got back from and forth to there on the page named We Three .
Me, a Boy Scout? Yep:
An aside to my kids: (29 Jan 2000) You'll be startled to know that, until I left home in 1946 and joined the WWII veterans, as detailed two paragraphs down, your ol' Dad was something of a "Dudley Doright" or, at least, a "Johnny Straightarrow" - never having cigarettes, whiskey, beer, or (God forbid) wild, wild women. Modesty causes me to list only a few of my early accomplishments: Captain of the band, as said before; medals in various divisions of the Music State Championship, 1946 in Austin, Texas; nearly an Eagle Scout, as said before; member of the Austin High School debate team, which won first place in the 1946 State Championships; member of National Honor Society; first place in the 1946 State High School Debating Championships; and, second in my graduating class at Austin High (Houston). The valedictorian was my best friend in those days, Paul Wilber. I'll try to think of something else to add, but that may be it.
Sandlot football and a name drop:
A natural born worker (07 Feb 2000): The jobs I had during my school days, usually only for the summer or less, were: (1) my choice of washing or drying dishes while Mother did the other chore; (2) mowing our yard for a weekly allowance of two bits - $0.25 to your generation; (3) cleaning up in a machine shop, where Daddy also worked at the time, for the magnificent stipend of $0.15 per hour; (4) digging ditches on a pipeline project for $0.75 an hour; (5) mixing mud - cement plaster to your generation - for a maternal uncle who was a master ceramic tile layer, for the overly generous salary of $1.00 per hour; (6) shining shoes, as an independent contractor, at Black's Barber Shop near the corner of Navigation and Wayside in Houston's east end, where I only had to sweep the floor as rent for the concession and got to keep whatever money I took in, which, on a Saturday could amount to as much as $13-14; and, (7) slaving at two "grown up" jobs with a roofing crew and on a dredge boat, for salaries which were good for the times but not remembered because, to this lazybones, the physical efforts exacted weren't worth the rewards which, therefore, weren't received long enough to be memorable.
I'll never forget what's-her-name: (29 Jan 2000) You noticed that my early love life is not at all mentioned. As I said, this is not an autobiography, and besides that, either a gentleman never tells (no, that ain't the reason) or it's nobody's business but mine. Of course, what there is to tell ain't that much - I was inordinately bashful and never had access to a car until I was out of the Army in 1953. I must add, however, that there were some double or triple dates and my share, I guess, of teenage crushes and what then seemed like heartbreaks. After all, Austin High did have cheerleaders and drum majorettes. (31 Oct 2000) On this first Halloween of the millennium, I also remembered not to forget some Halloween pranks (or, more properly, cruelties) that the old gang of mine used to perpetrate in those days, or rather, nights. The pranks involved things like throwing raw sodium in wet gutters near some wandering passerby (making, like the poet's candle, a lovely flame) or, maybe, putting human excrement in a paper bag, placing the handiwork on some unfortunate victim's front porch, applying the torch to the bag, knocking on the victim's front door, scurrying to the get away vehicle, and enjoying a fiendish (the right word) giggle at the sight of the homeowner, trick or treat candy in hand, emerging and frantically stomping on the conflagration. In later days, I wished that we had only threatened the pranks and enjoyed the candy instead of the giggles.
On to college/s in 1946:
An Army break(?) from school, 1951-1953: (08Jan 2004) More may come here later about why the US Army joined me. Meanwhile, to find out where I was and what I was doing during those years, you can visit the page subtitled How I Tied The War.
The music I nearly played: (23 Jan 2000) Because I failed ab initio ('twas added later) to give you music on the Window (index) page, here, from time to time, I'll add a link to a site where you can hear a Golden Oldie and sing along with the words, but fairness dictates that you make a quick return.
Disregard last message (15 Jun 2002): After spending two and a half years elsewhere in this Hole in the Web and, meanwhile, getting tired of losing my links to some golden oldie music, I got organized enough to have my own domain and my own music that won't go away until I do - maybe, not even then. Now you are supposed to hear one of those golden oldie gems when you go to any page in Mervino's Hole in the Web. I hope you enjoy the listen. Here are three ditties to hear, learn a bit, and sing along with. I may add others later if the gods are willing and the creek don't rise.
Waltzing Matilda Charley on the MTA Arirang
If see you don't find the link when you click, please tell me or, if I ain't around, the then current MFIC, so that the fiasco may be attended to. If you get the link, but don't hear music, get a hearing aid.
Window Page Prologue 3rd Division Page